Devon Brenner will be joining the Office of Research and Economic Development at Mississippi State as assistant to the vice president for education initiatives in mid-May.
For the past year, the head of the curriculum, instruction and special education department in the university's College of Education has been an Education Policy Fellow in the office of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., in Washington, D.C.
"We intend to capitalize on the experience that she has gained in Sen. Cochran's office, along with the wealth of knowledge she has from all of her previous roles," said MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw, who announced the news in a campus-wide e-mail to faculty and staff on Wednesday [March 30].
Brenner will take a leadership role in key initiatives that are underway, including the Partnership School with the Starkville-Oktibbeha County Consolidated School District.
"We are also envisioning several new opportunities, including pursuit of a Rural Education Research Center and international education initiatives. She will be working closely with faculty, students and administrators across the entire campus in organizing these initiatives," Shaw stated in his message.
Brenner is a specialist in literacy curriculum and teaching at the elementary- and middle-school levels, as well as teacher education and professional development in literacy. For the past few years, she and other colleagues in the college and its CISE department have been focusing research on rural education.
"Interim Provost Julia Hodges, Dean Richard Blackbourn and I are in agreement that Dr. Brenner is ideally suited to lead these efforts, and we are excited about the opportunities that will be created," Shaw wrote.